Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional degree shows showcasing the next generation of creative talent aren’t taking place this summer. It’s a real shame for design students who have given 3 years of sweat and toil to miss out on what is one of the highlights of the student calendar.

Cite are long-time supporters of the Graphic Design and Illustration course at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) and have helped the students to stage their very own ‘virtual degree show’ for peers, family and industry professionals to attend. Titled ‘Show Your Face’, the website showcase will be launched on July 3rd. All final year Graphic Design and Illustration students will have their work featured.

Working in collaboration

Andy Leitch is one of the Directors at Cite and also supports the Graphic Design course by running annual modules in web design and UX for those students looking at a career in digital. He was approached in the spring to help set up and coordinate an online experience to replace the end of year show. Andy worked collaboratively with a student steering group to achieve this. While we consulted and made recommendations around platform and layout, it was the students who did all the hard work in gathering together, preparing and presenting all the work – no mean feat with 100+ final year students!

A career in the creative industries

The Show Your Face website will help students taking their first steps into the commercial design world – allowing them to present themselves to prospective employers and showcasing their talents. Cite have worked with the DMU press team to get exposure in local and national media, including interviews on BBC Radio Leicester and coverage in The Guardian.

Speaking to the media Andy explains:

“A few of us at Cite are ex-DMU, so it’s important we give something back – we’re delighted to be involved. This is a fantastic way for students to celebrate each other and their incredible achievements over the course of their university years.”

Katie Pearce, one of the students on the virtual degree show steering committee said:

“It’s important that the class of 2020 feels celebrated and knows it hasn’t been forgotten. Normally, final-years get to show their work in front of friends, family and industry professionals at a dedicated event on campus and we didn’t want to miss out on that because of coronavirus this summer. The digital show we’ve created instead, is a reflection of the community spirit of the course and the hard work all of our coursemates have put in.”

Course Leader, Lyndsey Webster commented:

“Cite has been a long time supporter of our Graphics programmes, setting live briefs for our students, giving portfolio reviews and masterclasses. When we proposed the idea for our online Degree Show, Andy Leitch kindly agreed for Cite to partner with us. Andy has had regular meetings with our publicity team students mentoring and directing them with support to take their original ideas for the show online. The show is looking fantastic and is a real credit to ours students, showcasing the brilliant range of talented designers and illustrators we have graduating this year”.